26 June 2010

More IPCC scientific malpractice

In an earlier post, I commented ironically about the manner in which the climate catastrophists seek to avoid mentioning the effect of the sun on global temperature.

A Czech blog (kindly translated into English here) has gone viral with a post about the use of one, and only one, solar physicist (Judith Lean) by UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to arrive at the startling conclusion that solar activity had little effect on climate.

Documents the IPCC has recently been forced to release include a protest from the Norwegian government, urging the "IPCC to consider having only one solar physicist on the lead author team of such an important chapter. In particular since the conclusion of this section hangs on one single paper in which Judith Lean is the co-author."

The co-author of the offending article was Claus Frölich, whose manipulation of satellite data was par for the course for a climate catastrophist. The scientist in charge of the satellites and author of the graphs Frölich "edited", leading astrophysiscists Douglas Hoyt and Richard Willson, also wrote to the IPCC to protest:

"Fröhlich made unauthorised and incorrect adjustments. . . He did it without any detailed knowledge of the ACRIM1 instrument [satellite] or on-orbit performance. . . The only obvious purpose was to devise a Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) composite, that agreed with the predictions of Lean's TSI proxy model."
The IPCC went ahead and published a report that totally ignored these warnings.

Obamacare

Because the National Health Service is by far the biggest totem in British society, the creation of something similar in the USA was greeted over here as a great social accomplishment. Most Brits neither knew nor cared that the act was several thousand pages long, had not even been read through by its sponsors and was larded with every 'pork barrel' scheme the Democratic Party had been unable to piggyback onto previous legislation.

One vignette: the act create 159 new boards and commissions across the country, a vast extension of federal employment for the middle class; oh, and $24 million for new electronic medical records processing for elected representatives and senators. Forget for a moment that act only passed because the Democratic Party has a majority in both chambers of the federal legislature - what politician, of any party, is ever going to relinquish a source of patronage or an occupational perk? 

When the British NHS was created, there was a sincere belief that the prophylactic approach would reduce the incidence of illness and its cost to society. That hope was rapidly dashed, and the system has been struggling with rising demand and costs ever since. Nonetheless, it is treasured because it continues to express the basic ideal of social solidarity that animated the immediately post-war British governments.

Obamacare was not created in the blissful ignorance of inexorably rising future costs that accompanied the birth of the British NHS. It was founded on the ruthless manipulation of statistics, its main purpose has been to increase the power of the federal government, and it has been built brick by brick with sordid pay-offs to politicians and special interests.

And it will, without a shadow of doubt, rapidly increase the already astronomical cost of medical care to American society; at a time when levels of public and private debt are already unsustainably high, and facing the fiscal overhang of the baby boom generation entering the most medically expensive phase of its life cycle.

The road to hell may indeed be paved with good intentions - but when the intentions are cynically corrupt to begin with, it is lubricated with the thickest layer of grease that other people's money can buy.

25 June 2010

From shag-bag to fag-hag

The unchanging allure of Germaine Greer who, after tactlessly commenting on the essential homosexuality of British culture, regained her place as a permanent member of Newsnight Review by publishing the homoerotic celebration of The Boy. Now the BBC's principal alibi against charges of sexist ageism. 









         Hasn't changed much, has she?

Permanent Secretaries

There are forty-two Permanent Secretaries in the British Civil Service. All of them earn more than the Prime Minister, and they are the people who really govern the country, particularly at a time when only one of the members of the newly elected national government (William Hague) has any ministerial experience.

Know the names or even the specific departments of any of them?

I thought not.

England their England

During the darkest days of World War II, George Orwell wrote an essay with the above title. Most of it, in fact and in spirit, is of only historical interest. Only one passage rings as true today as it did then:
England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years [in the 1930s] many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible.
There is also some, although not much, abiding truth in the following generalization:
. . . the English are not intellectual. They have a horror of abstract thought, they feel no need for any philosophy or systematic ‘world-view’. Nor is this because they are ‘practical’, as they are so fond of claiming for themselves. One has only to look at their methods of town planning and water supply, their obstinate clinging to everything that is out of date and a nuisance, a spelling system that defies analysis, and a system of weights and measures that is intelligible only to the compilers of arithmetic books, to see how little they care about mere efficiency.
Orwell clearly did not - could not - anticipate that the world-view of the anti-British 'sniggerers' would remain unchanged by the titanic events through which the nation was living as he wrote, still less that it would still, dimly, illuminate the outlook of supposedly 'progressive' British intellectuals seventy years later. Yet it does, as I have highlighted in some of my earlier posts.

Nor could he have anticipated that the 'obstinate clinging to everything that is out of date and a nuisance' would so rapidly apply to all the means he envisaged for creating a more rational post-war society, tying them like an albatross around the neck of the Labour Party long after they were abandoned by every other major leftist party in the rest of Europe.

What he did not address, and what nobody else (that I know of) has been able to explain is why the British 'progressives' should be so alienated from their own society and culture as to bear comparison only with the better known stereotype of the self-hating Jew.

Maybe we are the lost tribe of Israel, after all.

Ikea: the work-out

Spent yesterday morning assembling an Ikea sideboard/TV stand, with much kneeling, stretching and crawling. I had to do it twice, because two pages of the assembly instructions were blank and so, as I was assembling the drawers, I discovered that I had used the wrong-sized tightening lugs when assembling the base. So I had to take it apart and start all over again.

Still, it's a nice bit of kit and a great improvement on what I had before. BUT . . .

Today I have been making the acquaintance of all sorts of disgruntled muscle groups. I could have expected the lower back, shoulders and hands/wrists, but the real killers are my belly, butt and - inner thighs! How the hell did those groups, especially the last, get worked so hard that they have decided to lock up and see how I like it?

Guess I'd better join my local gym.

Civil Liberties - strike two for the coalition

While one realized that, like any new administration, the Conservative-LibDem coalition would be in the hands of permanent officials for the first year or so, it is still rather startling that the new government has already reneged on two manifesto commitments by BOTH parties.

The first is the retention of the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR), an unnecessary and extremely expensive data-collection and centralisation exercise implemented stealthily by the Labour regime, despite condemnation by its supposedly main beneficiaries, the physicians of the British Medical Association.

Now Home Secretary Teresa May has announced that the right of the black-clad police Praetorians to keep people in jail for 28 days without charge are to remain in force for at least another six months.

'At least' - yeah; we all know what that means.

That piece of totalitarian shit effectively abolished Habeas Corpus, the right of every prisoner to challenge the terms of his or her incarceration in court before a judge that most distinguishes Common Law from statist continental Statute Law.

Originally, a writ of Habeas Corpus was simply a subpoena. A king or local official could impose a writ of habeas corpus to force someone to appear and testify. But over time it took on a civil libertarian meaning, as embodied in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, which made it clear that it was a civil right protecting the populace from being arrested without charge.

Ten years later came the Bill of Rights, some of its concepts archaic and the rest now so shot full of holes that Cameron was right to promise a statutory restatement - something we can whistle for now, it seems. Those rights were: 
  • Freedom from royal [for which read executive] interference with the law. Though the sovereign remains the fount of justice, he or she cannot unilaterally establish new courts or act as a judge.
  • Freedom from taxation by Royal Prerogative. The agreement of parliament became necessary for the implementation of any new taxes. [taxes are now commonly raised, never reduced, by administrative decree]
  • Freedom to petition the monarch. [good luck with that]
  • Freedom from the standing army during a time of peace. The agreement of parliament became necessary before the army could be moved against the populace when not at war.[no need - the increasingly paramilitary police can do the job just as well]
  • Freedom for Protestants to have arms for their own defence, as suitable to their class and as allowed by law. [hee hee]
  • Freedom to elect members of parliament without interference from the sovereign. [but not from the bribery, electoral registry packing and postal ballot fraud perpetrated by the executive in the last election]
  • Freedom of speech and debates; proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament. [the first part has been abolished by a variety of laws against 'hate speech' and the our grotesque libel laws; the second was most recently, and unsuccessfully, invoked to claim Parliamentary immunity for MPs charged with expenses fraud]
What makes it all practically irrelevant is that three-quarters of all British legislation is now Statute Law made by the EU bureaucratic oligarchy, rubber-stamped by Parliament - as an overriding treaty obligation - to make it de jure under Common Law, a development unimaginable to, and hence unanticipated by, previous generations.

To make Parliament's dereliction complete, the enabling clauses of the rubber-stamped EU legislation are delegated to the permanent officials who will enforce them. Thus most of our laws are drafted by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, and their application is decided by unelected bureaucrats in Whitehall.

Any national Bill of Rights worth having, therefore, must start by repatriating democratic sovereignty. As I said - we may whistle for it, but there is no chance whatever that the fons et origo of all our loss of liberty will be addressed by those elected to go through the motions in the Palace of Westminster. They are the hostages of their permanent officials, and will ultimately do what they are told.

24 June 2010

Mick Hume - arsehole of the month

Gonna have to delete the Spiked blog from my reader. Their 'editor at large' has just posed the question: 'Is it ethical to support In-ger-lund?' and replied 'No, of course it isn't - but so what? Let's keep football out of politics'.

What a prick. He goes on to say:
Now, like other Spiked writers, I consider myself an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist internationalist, and have argued and often marched against racism, nationalism and every one of Britain’s wars since 1981 – including the popular ones – from Northern Ireland or the South Atlantic to Kosovo or Afghanistan. However, I have no problem with wholeheartedly wanting England to win in this World Cup, whoever they are up against.
Well bully for you, you pathetic excuse for a man. That means you were objectively demonstrating for, respectively, Irish sectarian fascism, a genocidal military regime, ethnic cleansing and Islamic terrorist jihadism.

Very progressive.

Oz Labourites double up on lefty bet

The Australian Labour party has dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, whose popularity has plummeted following attempts to introduce a jobs-killing supertax on the minining industry and an emissions trading scheme.

In response to popular rejection of these two core leftist projects, the Oz Labourites have chosen Julia Gillard, the further leftist daughter of a Welsh family that emigrated when she was four. Rather a touching story, actually: it seems baby Julia had chronic lung problems and they emigrated for her health.

The Labour party's choice seems, on the face of it, perverse. If the wind is blowing from the jobs-creating quarter of the political spectrum, why go with someone who is almost genetically programmed to sail into the statist doldrums?

23 June 2010

Climate of Belief

Excellent article in Skeptic by the chemist Patrick Frank, who demonstrates in great detail the total unreliability of the climate models on which the claim that man-made CO2 is responsible for the current warming of Earth's climate. There is a downloadable pdf, but the conclusion follows:

Some may decide to believe anyway. “We can’t prove it,” they might say, “but the correlation of CO2 with temperature is there (they’re both rising, after all), and so the causality is there, too, even if we can’t prove it yet.” 

But correlation is not causation, and cause can’t be assigned by an insistent ignorance. The proper response to adamant certainty in the face of complete ignorance is rational skepticism. And aren’t we much better off accumulating resources to meet urgent needs than expending resources to service ignorant fears?

So, then, what about melting ice-sheets, rising sea levels, the extinction of polar bears, and more extreme weather events? What if unusually intense hurricane seasons really do cause widespread disaster? It is critical to keep a firm grip on reason and rationality, most especially when social invitations to frenzy are so pervasive. 


General Circulation Models are so terribly unreliable that there is no objectively falsifiable reason to suppose any of the current warming trend is due to human-produced CO2, or that this CO2 will detectably warm the climate at all. Therefore, even if extreme events do develop because of a warming climate, there is no scientifically valid reason to attribute the cause to human-produced CO2.

In the chaos of Earth’s climate, there may be no discernable cause for warming. Many excellent scientists have explained all this in powerful works written to defuse the CO2 panic - but the choir sings seductively and few righteous believers seem willing to entertain disproofs

Talkin' 'bout my generation

I concentrate my fire on the bureaucratic oligarchies in Whitehall and Brussels because we in Britain have endured the most sustained power-grab, by both, since - umm - damn; I can't think of another generation that has bent over and spread 'em for the thrust of big government with quite the enthusiasm mine has shown over the last 20-odd years.

The shocking abdication of personal responsibility by my post-war British cohort - certainly the most cossetted there ever has been, or ever will be - is an enduring puzzle to me. Granted unprecedented freedom of choice and a more meritocratic employment environment than any previous generation, the legacy my generation leaves to posterity is in no significant way superior to what we inherited.

In many ways it is inferior: there was a natural, if fundamentally misguided, belief that widespread regulation had helped Britain come out on the winning side of World War II, and that the same would 'win the peace'. Given the dreary succession of social and economic failures that followed, and the squalid collapse of the 'progressive' Soviet Union, it has been disheartening to see the same tired nostrums exhumed over the past twenty years.

Compounding what would be, on the surface, merely a reiteration of mankind's inability to learn from history, is the demonstrable fact that the 'New Labour Project', which won the stubborn support of a majority of my age-group, was bereft of any ideal save the winning and retention of power. Its architects, Blair, Brown, Mandelson and Campbell, bear comparison only with the amoral Lloyd George clique that destroyed the Liberal Party after World War I.

Emblematically, they erected a statue in Parliament Square to Lloyd George, who made a fortune from kick-backs as Minister for Munitions during the war, stole money donated by the Carnegie Foundation for the post-war rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, and sold honours according to a set tariff. So much money that he was able to buy a newspaper and attract a sufficient following to create a new political party devoted to himself.

To which, alas, Winston Churchill belonged until it became apparent that he could not ride it back to power. He, at least, redeemed himself by his leadership of a national coalition during World War II, which Lloyd George refused to join because he aspired to becoming the British equivalent of Marshal Pétain in France following defeat by Nazi Germany. A fit hero, indeed, for the New Labour Project.

Returning to Britain in 1999 after 25 years abroad, I was staggered to find the evidently meretricious Blair still enjoying a honeymoon with the media, led by the BBC, that bordered on sycophancy. And people whose judgement I respected were saying things like 'I don't mind paying more taxes if it will lead to a fairer society'.

Well, they got the taxes, sure enough - but it went to feed the voracious appetite of the bureaucratic oligarchy, which was New Labour's core constituency. Blair's media halo did not really tarnish until he and his accomplice Campbell lied us into joining the US invasion of Iraq; yet during his administration the state apparat mounted the most sustained attack on civil liberties since Charles I.

Someday I may arrive at a hypothesis to explain it all; for the time being all I can do is apologize to my sons and to my grandchildren for the sordid and contumacious hole they have been put in by the 'best and the brightest' of my generation.     

On cutting the new UK government some slack

Bearing in mind that the ultimately ruinous Blair-Brown regime enjoyed a three-year honeymoon following election in 1997 by doing nothing much other than enjoying the national prosperity it inherited, criticism of what the new coalition has found itself obliged to do by the wholesale fecklessness of its predecessor is ridiculously premature. The following from Madsden Pirie on ASI speaks for me:
The partners in this coalition are really working at it, doing their best to make it succeed. They are determined to replace our top-down state school system with one that responds to parents' wishes. They want to take low paid people out of income tax altogether. They want to end the cycle of permanent dependency fostered by the current state welfare system.

And so it goes on through many of the major problems which have been allowed to fester for so many years under a government which thought it could pass directives to micro-manage every aspect of society. Now we have a real chance to move systematically through a reform agenda and try new solutions that put people ahead of government. 


It is not the government people voted for, not the one that most people hoped for or expected. But people are making what they can of an unusual situation, and our hope should be that they can make it work. One thing is already clear: it is light years ahead of its predecessor.

BBC shows signs of impartiality on climate catastrophism!

Good heavens! Cor blimey! Knock me down with a feather! The Bitchy Boys Club news site has conspicuously failed to present a one-sided report on the latest climate catastrophist libel of those who question their religion!

Some Stamford academic has published an article in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The author's somewhat less than amazing finding is that:
Some 98% of climate scientists that publish research on the subject support the view that human activities are warming the planet.
. . . researchers who were convinced of the human impact on climate change had published twice as many papers as their sceptical counterparts, and were cited in other people's research two to three times more often.
Not on the face of it surprising, given that catastrophism has been the surest funding magnet for climate scientists for the last 20 years and that, as revealed in the leaked emails from the catastrophist coven at East Anglia University, they have used all means short of murder to keep anyone from publishing contrary views.

The BBC could normally be expected to go to town on this 'further evidence' that climate catastrophism is 'proven science' commanding a 'scientific consensus'. So it was with rather astonished pleasure that I read the corporation's balanced analysis of the article in question, which ends with the following:
"There is a core of assertions, dealing with the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature and sea level, which enjoy general agreement," Professor von Storch from the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg told BBC News.

"While others, for instance, related to the Himalaya glaciers, the changing tropical storms and their damages or the fate of Greenland, are heavy contested. It's typical of this broad-brush study to make such wide ranging claims similar to the infamous 'the debate is over'."

Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, from the University of Hull, UK, added: "Who judges expertise and prominence? It looks to me that the authors belong to an IPCC supporting group that must count as believers and belong to the beneficiaries of the man-made warming scare."

22 June 2010

General McChrystal's interview

This is the reportage in Rolling Stone that may have brought the career of General McChrystal, commander of all US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to an abrupt end. Seems a shame because:
The general's staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs. There's a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Parkesque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority.
McChrystal is a snake-eating rebel, a "Jedi" commander, as Newsweek called him. He speaks his mind with a candor rare for a high-ranking official. He asks for opinions, and seems genuinely interested in the response. He gets briefings on his iPod and listens to books on tape. He went out on dozens of nighttime raids during his time in Iraq, unprecedented for a top commander, and turned up on missions unannounced, with almost no entourage. "The fucking lads love Stan McChrystal," says a British officer who serves in Kabul. "You'd be out in Somewhere, Iraq, and someone would take a knee beside you, and a corporal would be like 'Who the fuck is that?' And it's fucking Stan McChrystal."
The paragraph that the American pundits think will sink him is the following:
Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."
So, comments by 'sources familiar with' and an unnamed adviser to the general are, according to the pundits, sufficient to tip the balance against McChrystal. Wouldn't have thought so - more likely the general himself has had enough of a campaign he can't win and was subconsciously looking for a way to go out in a blaze of maverick glory.

The Budget

Can't improve on the post at Mr Eugenides, reproduced in full with one minor alteration:
This speech is essentially an extended "fuck you" to his predecessors. I've counted at least half a dozen swipes at Labour in the last 15 minutes. Wait: seven, now. It's glorious, but slightly unedifying at the same time. [Lib-Dem Business Secretary ] Vince Cable looks like he's swallowed a shit-flavoured landmine.

The cuts are coming thick and fast - thick and fast enough to gladden the hearts of all bloggertarians, and enrage lefties everywhere. He's barely halfway through and the axe is growing bloodier by the minute. If only this presaged a wholesale assault on the size of the state, rather than applying a tourniquet to the gushing wounds inflicted by the witless fuck-muppets who came before.

I hope there
is a TV in whatever psychiatric ward Gordon Brown currently resides.

'Quality' newspapers in sharp decline

According to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (see Press Gazette report), the self-styled quality newspapers continue their precipitous decline in readership.

I am particularly pleased to see the Telegraph titles taking such a bath: serves them right for abandoning their traditional readers in pursuit of the chimerical 'progressive' majority that's supposed to be out there. Cameroons take note.

Meanwhile, across the channel Le Monde, arguably the most self-regarding  newspaper of all time, is deep in the doo-doo. See analysis here.

Must share the convulsingly earnest last paragraph with you:
Le Monde remains a great news organization, both in print and online. It might become irrelevant within a few short years if its new owners want to use it for their interests or goals. Otherwise, if proper steps are taken, it has the potential to be an editorial powerhouse comparable to the Guardian or The New York Times. This is what is at stake today.
Don't know about the NYT, which is about the last US newspaper to even attempt to report on the wider world, but the Guardian sells a pitiful 300,472, down 10.5% on last year.

Huhne - winning one for the heteros

Following the news that Tory MP Caroline Nookey's toy-boy was such a crap lover that a previous sexual partner had forsaken heterosexuality to become a lesbian, the cosmic balance has been restored by Chris Huhn, the wild-eyed eek!-o-freak who has been made Secretary for Energy.  

Seems he's been cheating on his wife with Carina Triming, the larger of the two dogs in the picture, taken when she celebrated her civil  partnership with psychotherapist Juli Bennett three years ago.

Go on, my son - it's a daunting task, but someone's got to do it. Shame you can't control your own (carbon) emissions, but we are all ready to follow your firm moral leadership towards a greener tomorrow.

You can always depend on the Mail, authentic voice of British petit bourgeois hypocrisy. Having wallowed in the details, it concludes:
But it is those they have left behind who deserve the most sympathy. And, as they undoubtedly know all too well, in the end, it is the secrecy and the deceit that causes so much pain and is ultimately so hard to forgive.
Thank God we have the Mail to protect us from secrecy and deceit, say I.

Philip Davies - Tory statist

This is Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, a Yorkshire constituency that includes Bradford. Before his election in 2005, Davies worked at ASDA in Leeds as a Senior Marketing Manager and before that as a Customer Services Project Manager, an unusual amount of real world experience for a modern MP.

Davies has called for Britain to pull out of the EU and NATO, never misses an opportunity to mock political correctness, and has made it his personal mission to pillory the expensive absurdities of the overtly communist Equality and Human Rights Commission. He has also told his Muslim constituents (Bradford is 19% Muslim) to show their loyalty to Britain.

Much to like about this archetypal blunt Yorkshireman, then. But - oh dear - have a look at his article in Critical Reaction in favour of the surveillance state and the police DNA database.
The new coalition Government has pledged to remove the profiles of those individuals on the DNA database who are not successfully prosecuted after three years and to further regulate and possibly restrict Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras. As someone who is a staunch defender of freedom you might think that I would be delighted about these developments. I am not - I am absolutely horrified. The real freedoms which I so vigorously fight for are not going to be enhanced one little bit by these proposals: the first duty of Government is to protect its subjects and I believe that my freedom to go about my daily life without becoming a victim of a crime is under serious threat from these proposed changes.

Sabotaging some of our most technologically advanced crime fighting capabilities will also weaken our ability to catch and punish perpetrators of crimes. This is not acceptable from the public’s point of view and even less palatable to the victims of these crimes, not to mention the undoubted future victims – some of whom the Government will have failed to protect in the name of civil liberties.
Civil libertarians oppose all extensions of (lower case) government to intrude upon and regulate citizens' lives because the state is by nature a predator and must be kept in a cage. After thirteen years of crypto-communist rule, one would have expected a Tory MP to realize that powers granted to the agents of the state for an overtly benevolent purpose will always be abused to pursue other, malignant ends.

Davies expresses the Hobbesian view that it is better to have one big shark - the Leviathan state - than a shoal of piranhas. That view leads logically and invariably to totalitarian dictatorship. As to his view that CCTV and the state DNA database should be protected against 'so-called libertarians' in order to defend 'real liberties', that is straight out of the communist handbook.

21 June 2010

Anyone but Murray

I went to a Scots school and I used to be proud of my maternal Scottish heritage - got gooseflesh when I heard the pipes, the whole atavistic bit. But after thirteen years of gross misrule by chippy Scots carpet-baggers, I feel a no less primitive revulsion. Maybe it's my paternal Viking heritage.

So, childish though it is, I will be cheering for anyone playing against that sour-faced git Andrew 'Anyone but England' Murray. To hell with him and all the rest of the resentful losers north of the border.

Journopukes

I commented in a previous post that the only things the British press did well were voyeurism and gossip.

The Mail's shameless invention of an alleged players revolt led by John Terry in the English football team reminds me of their third talent: shit-stirring.

I think they sit around circle-jerking about how to bring down people more talented, better looking and more intelligent than they are; which, come to think of it, is just about everybody.

Three hundred

The three hundredth British fatal casualty from the Afghan campaign has died in a Birmingham hospital. There is a bitter post by Richard North on EU Referendum, from which the following collages. I will not demean the men who died by portraying them as victims, but I find the silhouettes, in particular, unutterably poignant:

The legacy of 13 years of 'progressive' government

The Department for Work & Pensions reports that 1.4 million people in the UK have been on an out-of-work benefit for nine or more of the last 10 years; that social mobility in Britain is worse than in the USA, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Denmark; and that a higher proportion of children grow up in workless households in the UK than in any other EU country.

Then there's 35 percent functional illiteracy, the worst record in the EU for the treatment of a wide range of illnesses, and a fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP second only to long-stagnant Japan.

And 8,609,527 people voted for more of the same.

Israel and the surrender of the West

The above is the title of a good article by the Hoover Institution's Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal on the current 'progressive' scapegoating of the Israelis for the Arabs' inability to govern themselves, which willfully overlooks for how long the entire Muslim world was economically, socially and culturally stagnant before the first Jewish settler arrived in Palestine.
. . . the Palestinians - and for that matter much of the Middle East - are driven to militancy and war not by legitimate complaints against Israel or the West but by an internalized sense of inferiority. If the Palestinians got everything they want - a sovereign nation and even, let's say, a nuclear weapon - they would wake the next morning still hounded by a sense of inferiority. For better or for worse, modernity is now the measure of man.

And the quickest cover for inferiority is hatred. The problem is not me; it is them. And in my victimization I enjoy a moral and human grandiosity - no matter how smart and modern my enemy is, I have the innocence that defines victims. I may be poor but my hands are clean. Even my backwardness and poverty only reflect a moral superiority, while my enemy's wealth proves his inhumanity.
Unfortunately Steele buys into the usual explanation for the the abject behaviour of Western 'progressives' in the face of this raw hatred: 
. . . the entire Western world has suffered from a deficit of moral authority for decades now. Today we in the West are reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist. Today the West lives on the defensive, the very legitimacy of our modern societies requiring constant dissociation from the sins of the Western past - racism, economic exploitation, imperialism and so on.
Racism (and its blood brother sectarianism), economic exploitation and imperialism have been common features in human history across the globe. One must look elsewhere for an explanation.

What the West has lost and shows no signs of wishing to regain is moral courage. We are largely governed by bureaucratic oligarchies, the EU unequivocally so, and common features of all bureaucrats are timidity and resentment at those who, unlike themselves, have accepted the risks of failure in the pursuit of fulfilling lives.

Like any organism, they seek to shape their environment to their own advantage, while at the psychological level they can relate very well to the deserved sense of inferiority that powers the Islamofascist phenomenon.       

20 June 2010

A possible explanation . . .

. . . for how in God's name 8,609,527 people could have voted for the Labour party in the general election, after it had betrayed everything it was supposed to stand for while ruining the country's finances for a generation. I found it in my Cambridge contemporary Graham Hurley's 2007 novel One Under:
She'd worked in the public sector all her life and was prepared to defend to the death the state's right to fuck up.

'Fuck up what?'

'Everything. Anything. Child protection. Social housing. Secondary school education. Operations for gallstones. Public libraries. Whatever. Just as long as nothing else falls into the laps of those greedy bastards who call themselves businessmen.'
This rings terribly true, and then there are the morons who say they vote Labour 'because they're from the north.'

What a complete waste of time it is to devise policies seeking to appeal to such people. If they cannot even work out that the money spent on them has to come from business, and that business is concentrated in the south precisely because of the dreary post-proletarian sense of entitlement prevalent in the north, then it would be best to cut them loose to find their own way, and let the greedy southern bastards who call themselves businessmen raise the standard of living for the rest of us.

Iran shows the way

Iran has just hanged a man found guilty of leading a terrorist group that has conducted bombings, armed robbery, kidnapping and drug trafficking. Iran says the Sunni group has links to Al Qaeda and accuses Pakistan, Britain and the United States of backing the group to create instability in South-East Iran.

Britain freed every member of the sectarian terrorist groups that it had managed to convict for bombings, armed robbery, kidnapping and extorsion, and handed over power to them. The principal terrorist group so favoured had the backing of Ireland, the USA, Libya and the Soviet Union to create instability in Northern Ireland.

Let's see which approach works best, shall we?

Maybe it is British Petroleum after all

As the New York Times points out, BP had two strikes against it going into the current disaster; and as we all know, three strikes and you're out.

'Muddling through' simply doesn't hack it in the modern world. A lesson for the British 'gifted amateurs' who have so stubbornly refused to learn even from their own experience over the past century.

Hat-tip Kinsla

Three kinds of people

As immortally defined in Team America: World Police there are three types of people (Trigun parody here - it's very crude, so don't open unless you have a bawdy sense of humour). To bowdlerise the original, they are doers, submissives, and meddlers.

I suspect that centuries of emigration by the bold and the enterprising may have left Britain overwhelmingly populated by submissives, which might explain why the society is dominated by meddlers and only preserves such liberty as it still enjoys because the meddlers have been relatively ineffectual.

It might also explain why secular British 'progressives' cannot bring themselves to repudiate a religion that contemptuously rejects everything they stand for: Islam is a linguistically complex term that means total submission and obedience, which appeals viscerally to such people.

So, do not attempt to reason with them - kick 'em in the teeth; they secretly like it.

Oooh - do me Daddy!

Squirming interview with race hustler Jesse 'Hymietown' Jackson by the Guardian's moist Elizabeth Day.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson does not so much enter a room as rearrange its molecules around him. When he comes into the lobby of a London hotel, you can sense his arrival before you see him, as though the sheer force of his personality has displaced the air. He is physically imposing – more than six feet tall with broad shoulders and a boxer's bulk – and walks slowly, oozing a sense of purpose. He is, it must be said, quite terrifying to behold.
When we meet, he looks me straight in the eye, takes my hand and bends to kiss it . . .

Afghanistan: safe prediction

Now that both the USA and the British have signalled their intention to start pulling out of Afghanistan next year, casualties will soar.

Why am I so confident? Because the leaders of the insurgent groups will compete among each other to attack the occupying forces, hoping to establish a stronger bargaining position for the power carve-up that will follow the departure of the infidels.

Just as they did in Aden after the arsehole Wilson announced a date for the British withdrawal. And just as they did once the Soviets began to pull out of . . . Afghanistan. Which makes The One and Cameron prolapsed arseholes.

They just don't get it

Over on ASI, Dr Madsen Pirie rehearses what he will say to the Young inquiry into runaway health and safety regulation.
I will urge the replacement of statute law by case law, the principle which underlies English common law. I will suggest that Parliament's intent be not spelled out in detail, but decided by a series of tribunals and juries setting out a body of precedent. A typical one might require employers to provide "reasonable" toilet facilities for their staff, but instead of spelling out line by line what is "reasonable," would allow a series of tribunal decisions to build up a body of precedent. This brings the commonsense views of ordinary people into the process.

With the EU, Britain will have to plead "vital national interest," as allowed. We will say that English common law is a vital part of our national identity. We will take EU directives and apply them in our own way, not accepting the pages of detail, but accepting the principle and allowing juries to interpret through a series of cases how it is to be applied in practice.
Pirie just doesn't get it, does he? Seventy percent of our laws are made in Brussels and there is no way Common Law can survive if Britain remains in the EU. Europhile shysters like the Blairs have known this all along, and have actively hastened the process by - for example - abolishing habeas corpus, undermining trial by jury and the presumption of innocence in order to conform to the statist continental norm.

Does Pirie really believe that the 'progressive' British state and judiciary will surrender the immense powers they have gained through the EU in order to accommodate laughably troglodyte concepts like 'national identity' and 'the commonsense views of ordinary people'?

Mi Cuba querida

Got teary-eyed watching this vid about my birthplace on You Tube: I Feel Cuba, narrated by Andy García.

Me brotaron lágrimas mientras repasaba este video de mi país de nacimiento en You Tube: Siento a Cuba, narrado por Andy García

19 June 2010

Bitchy Boys Club worried about their investments

Roger Harrabin, the BBC's front man for protecting the massive investments the corporation's pension fund has made in 'green' technology stocks, has a typically dishonest opinion piece in the latest New Scientist, calling for the 'denialists' to calm down. His reasons, with the words omitted in bad faith added in parentheses:
Climate scepticism is on the rise, boosted in large part by the hacked emails [that revealed the systematic falsification of date and professional dishonesty] originating from the "climategate" scientists at the University of East Anglia in the UK, and by the [equally systematic and deliberately misleading] carelessness of fact checkers for [authors of] the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The damage to the public standing of climate science has been substantial. In the UK in February, a BBC poll of 1001 people found that just 26 per cent believed human-made climate change was an established scientific fact, down from 41 per cent only three months earlier.
Umm - could it be that scepticism is on the rise in reaction to years of over-the-top shrieking about how rock-solid the science was by people with a political agenda? Yup - Harrabin admits it:
This political reaction against scientific "facts" is hardly surprising, as from the libertarian perspective [the way the findings of some] climate science [has been oversold] points towards a global socialism where individual choices are constrained.
Not to mention creating another vast edifice of corrupt, circle-jerking international bureaucrats. Anyone who opposes such a consummation to be devoutly wished, says Harrabin, is clearly in the pay of Satan. Thus a conference of catastrophic global warming sceptics in Chicago, 'was arranged by the Heartland Institute, a think tank which has taken money from oil and tobacco firms over the years'.

That's called ad hominem, and is merely one of the Aristotelian logical fallacies regularly employed by the catastrophists. Anyway, through the tax it levies, the BBC has also taken rather a lot of money from oil and tobacco (and banks, and arms dealers) over the years - why have they not refused to take such tainted funds? 
It's impossible [only to a one-world socialist] to take the politics out of a topic as complex, uncertain and far-reaching as climate change. But maybe there is a way to improve matters. The majority of the sceptic scientists appear now to acknowledge that the world has warmed [no half-way informed person has ever denied it] and that humans may be partly to blame [funny, I thought it was all down to resource-raping capitalism]. Most agree with the scientific consensus that basic physics means CO2 will warm the planet by about 1°C above pre-industrial levels.
Harrabin will have to hand in his catastrophist badge and vuvuzela: the warmist baseline has been 2°C for many years.
Where they disagree is over computer models supported by the [now thoroughly discredited] IPCC, almost all of which project that the world's natural feedback mechanisms will amplify the CO2 warming, probably to a dangerous degree. If the debate can focus on this feedback warming, we might be able to remove some of the political heat. But don't hold your breath [or carbon emissions, as we are now supposed to call it].
The issue is not, and has never been whether warming is taking place. It has always been whether trillions of dollars should be taken out of productive use to fund a vast new bureaucracy to counter a hypothetical threat that - according to the catastrophists' own calculations - can only be averted by massive de-industrialisation.

In simple terms, the warmists have so over-sold the alleged threat posed by CO2 that any reasonable person must conclude that - should such catastrophic predictions prove to be more than hot carbon emissions - the money will have to be spent on amelioration.

But that would not advance the cause of one-world socialism, and is thus unthinkable heresy.

Adélie penguins doomed - we're next

Time magazine has picked up on a Science (subscription only) article alleging that:
The world's polar regions are warming up faster than the global average, but the western edge of the Antarctic Peninsula is especially steamy. Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures have shot up by an almost (sic) unbelievable 6°C - more than five times the global average

This, it seems, is very bad for the cute Adélie penguin (picture), but good for the Chinstrap (actually even more cute, but not pictured). All in all, a portent of doom:

As for why anyone should care about changes so far from where most of us live, endangered cute penguins are sufficient reason for lots of people. But for the rest of us, the changes going on in the Antarctic may well be a preview for what's on the way, in a rough sense, for the rest of the world's marine ecosystems. Coming soon, in short, to a seashore near you.
Do not despair. The ever-meticulous WUWT presents all the datasets on which this allegation might have been based, and makes the following points:
First, once again some mainstream climate scientists are exaggerating. There is no dataset in which we see a WAP air temperature rise of 6°C in fifty years as claimed in the Science paper.
Second, although it is widely claimed that there is good agreement between the various ground based datasets, as well as between the ground and satellite data, in this case we see that they are all quite different. Not only the amplitude, but in many cases the sign of the trend is different between ground and satellite data. The CRU/Hadley dataset varies from the GISS datasets. In all, there is not a whole lot of agreement between any pair of datasets.
All of which makes it very difficult to come to any conclusions at all … except one: it would be nice if we could get some agreement about one of the most basic data operations in the climate science field, the calculation of area averages of temperatures from the station data, before we start disputing about the larger issues.

More US political psychodrama

Didn't see all of BP CEO Hayward's grilling by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but noted that somehow a fat, dishevelled and oil-daubed woman was let in to add drama to the proceedings. That and the demagoguery ('take your golden parachute back to England') of rat-faced Henry Waxman, congressman for the ritziest district in California, made me ill.

What a farce. Almost made me sympathize with Hayward; but then I recalled that under his leadership the company chose the slogan 'Beyond Petroleum' and wrapped itself in pseudo-greenery.

Needless to say, given that The One had already decreed that BP acted recklessly, Hayward had lawyered up and coolly refused to take personal responsibility. The cool bit was unwise. He could have done the same while weeping, or staging a seizure - anything other than displaying the qualities that presumably got him the CEO's job in the first place. That's what these American judicial circuses are all about.

Not that anyone in the States gives a damn, but Waxman-style grandstanding plays very badly over here. The political fortunes of the shameless George Galloway, leader of the hilariously misnamed Respect Party, were rescued when he took on a Senate committee investigating his dealings with Saddam Hussein, and shoved their hypocrisy down their throats.

What's an 'organic pig'?

The only things the mainstream British press do well are voyeurism and gossip. For the Mail, the story of Caroline Nokes, MP, and her young boyfriend is the gift that keeps on giving.

Nokes is one of the 'A' list handpicked by Tory Central Office to fight the last election. A former chief executive of the National Pony Society, she has been married to Marc for 15 years, has an 11-year-old daughter, dogs, a cat and four free-range organic pigs.

Earlier this year, she signed a pledge in Westminster to 'act according to Christian conscience', and includes the statement: 'We pledge to support marriage - the lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife. We believe it is divinely ordained, the only context for sexual intercourse.'

Her boyfriend, James Dinsdale, is a Tory councillor for Bury St Edmunds. He is also married. His studly credentials are questioned, however, by a previous lover.
This week, it emerged that he also had an affair with a Tory activist who goes by the colourful name of Anastasia Beaumont-Bott. Last night, she spoke of her relationship with Dinsdale - and insisted that such was her disillusionment with men after their affair that she is now a lesbian.
In other news, the Tory MP for St Mary Mead Bury St Edmunds (there it is again) jumped in front of a train, but was neither bisected by the wheels nor electrocuted. He had been the Shadow Minister for Policing until the last election, but lost out in the coalition carve-up.

As Miss Marple put it: 'In an English village, you turn over a stone, and you have no idea what will crawl out.'

18 June 2010

Spain closes part of the eco-trough

'Sunny Spain suspends solar subsidy scam', says the headline of an article in The Register. See that in the mainstream media? No? I thought not.

In the UK, for 'solar', read 'wind', to which our own supposedly cost-cutting government is 100% committed.
Estimates put the investment in solar energy in Spain at €18bn - but the investment was predicated, as it is with all flakey renewables, on taxpayer subsidies. With the country's finances in ruins, making sacrifices for the Earth Goddess Gaia is an option Spain can no longer afford. Incredibly, Spain pays more in subsidies for renewables than the total cost of energy production for the country. It leaves industry with bills 17 per cent higher than the EU average.
For sure, you can create a temporary jobs boom, but these are artificial, and the exercise is as useful as paying people to dig a hole in the ground, then fill it in. Spanish economist Professor Gabriel Calzada, at the University of Madrid estimated that each green job had cost the country $774,000. Worse, a "green" job costs 2.2 jobs that might otherwise have been created - a figure Calzada derived by dividing the average subsidy per worker by the average productivity per worker. Industry, which can't afford to pay the higher fuel bills, simply moves elsewhere.
You can download Calzada's paper here (pdf).

Labour's legacy

Don't usually do this, but copy below a publication by the Conservative Party because I do not believe it contains a word of exaggeration. Indeed, I think it grossly understates the depth and scope of Labour's assault on the economy, sovereignty, national identity and all standards of decency in public life.

None of what follows is news, so the Tories need to explain why they pussy-footed around it during the campaign.

Labour’s Legacy in detail
  • Labour left one in five young people unemployed. 19.6 per cent of those aged 16-24 are unemployed according to the latest figures (ONS, Labour Market Statistics, June 2010, Table 14).
  • Labour took up to £150 billion from pension funds. In 1997 Gordon Brown abolished the Dividend Tax Credit paid to pension funds and companies. This meant that pension funds were no longer able to claim a tax credit on the payment receipt of dividends. Independent experts have estimated that this cost pension funds up to £150 billion:
‘What happened in 1997 represented an enormous and ongoing raid on the assets of UK company pension schemes. My research shows it would be very hard to justify an impact of less than £100 billion — and even £150 billion may still be a conservative estimate.’
(Terry Arthur, fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, Daily Telegraph, 15 October 2006)
  • Another expert called it ‘the biggest attack on pension provision since the war’ (Peter Murray, Chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds, The Independent, 3 July 1997).
  • Labour sold off Britain’s gold at a 20-year low in the market. On 7 May 1999, Gordon Brown announced that he was planning to sell off 400 tonnes of gold at a 20-year low in the market - now nicknamed the “Brown Bottom” by gold traders. Gordon Brown sold off Britain’s gold for between $256 and $296 an ounce, raising $3.496 billion (£2.343 billion at the then exchange rate). Since then the gold price has more than quadrupled to $1,227 an ounce (Bloomberg, accessed 15 June 2010).
  • Labour left every man, woman and child in Britain owing £22,400. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that in 2014-15 Net Debt will reach £1,376 billion. This works out at £22,400 per person, based on a UK population of 61.4 million (ONS, Mid-Year Population Estimates).
  • Labour wasted £3 billion on benefit overpayments and £10 million on tax credits for the dead. £3 billion or 2.2 per cent of total benefit expenditure was overpaid in 2008/09 due to fraud and error (DWP, Fraud and error in the Benefit system: April 2008 to March 2009, 2009). Since 2003, approximately £10 million have been paid to the dead in tax credits (Public Accounts Committee, Tax Credits and Income Tax, 24 March 2009, para. 6 and Hansard, 8 Oct 2007, Col. 244W, 10 July 2008, Col. 1786W, 29 June 2009, Col. 24W).
  • Labour left us with one of the worst budget deficits in Europe. According to forecasts by the European Commission and new UK forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK has the second largest deficit of all 27 member states in 2010, as well as a larger deficit than the US and Japan. On the OBR's forecast, the UK deficit will be 10.5 per cent of GDP in 2010-11. This is higher than the EU's forecasts for France (8%), Germany (5%), Japan (6.7%), Greece (9.3%), Italy (5.3%) or Portugal (8.5%). (Office for Budget Responsibility, Pre-Budget Forecast, June 2010, Table 4.3; European Commission, European Economic Forecast - Spring 2010, 5 May 2010).
  • Labour left 2.47 million out of work. At the end of Labour’s term, unemployment was 2.47 million (ONS, Labour Market Statistics, June 2010).
  • Labour left debt interest soaring to £70 billion.According to forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, on Labour’s spending plans, the cost of debt interest would have more than doubled to £67.2 billion by 2014-15 (OBR, Pre-Budget Forecast, June 2010, Table 4.8).
  • Labour failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining. As the IFS said: ‘During Labour’s first four years in office, the public finances strengthened further, as the new government stuck to the tight public spending plans laid out by the Conservatives. The following seven years, however, were characterised by fiscal drift. By the eve of the financial crisis, this had left the UK with one of the largest structural budget deficits in the developed world’ (IFS, The Public Finances: 1997-2010, 19 April 2010, p. 2).
  • Labour let the cost of the EU more than triple. Under Labour’s spending plans, and as a result of Tony Blair giving away the rebate, the cost of our EU contributions will have more than tripled from £3.1 billion in 2008-09 to £10.3 billion in 2014-15 (OBR, Pre-Budget Forecast, June 2010, Table 4.8).
Labour’s years of wasteful spending. 
  • Employing 4,567 ‘staff without posts’ in the civil service at a cost of £161 million a year. (Series of Parliamentary Questions from June 2009 to February 2010 by Francis Maude).
  • £780 million on reorganising government departments and agencies (National Audit Office, Reorganising Central Government, 18th March 2010).
  • Spending £540 million on government advertising and PR a year (Central Office of Information, Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09, July 2009).
  • £48,000 on a kinetic light sculpture for display in the British Embassy in Madrid. (Government Art collection, Annual report, 2008-09). [Why the hell was this included?]
Is that all?  What about the quangocracy? The cost of of thousands of regulations? The hundreds of new 'crimes' added to the statute book? The abolition of habeas corpus? The corruption of all aspects of public life? Two dishonestly entered wars, waged without regard to the lives of our soldiers? And on, and on. 
 
If this is the mealy-mouthed, cringing best that the Conservative Party can produce, then I fear they lack the guts to make the root-and-branch reforms needed to correct the deep legacy of  systematic subversion that the crypto-communists have inflicted on this too-docile society.

No mirror on themselves

The following from Christine Blower (sic), general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, on the subject of the Tories' attempts to reform a school system that is the wonder of the world:
"There is the strong possibility under this system that governing bodies could increasingly contract out the running of schools to private companies in return for management fees. Adopting such a business model will amount to the sweeping dismantling of our education system, turning it over to unaccountable, unelected companies."
As opposed to the unaccountable, unelected (by those those compelled to be serviced (sic) by them) unions? As I've said before, these people are just too stupid to talk to.

Who inquires into the inquirers?

Notorious cases make bad law, and headline cases make for grandstanding. Arguably the factor that has most weakened the British government's response to Islamic jihadism has been the concept of 'institutional racism' defined as follows by the Macpherson report of the inquiry into the inexcusable police handling of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, published on 24 February 1999:
The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people. 
Presenting it to Parliament, then Home Secretary Jack Straw said: 'The Macpherson report challenges us all, not just the police service'. He expressed his government's determination 'to tackle discrimination wherever it is found' and emphasised that the report 'places a responsibility on each of us. We must make racial equality a reality'. Blair rose to declare a commitment to 'drive home a programme for change'.

Consequently, stop and search of young black males was banned, even though as a cohort they are responsible for a staggering disproportion of street crime. It did not take long for 'community leaders' in Brixton and other predominantly black areas to start whining about the surge in crime in their districts, but the police adamantly refused to expose themselves to further charges of racism.

Comes the 7/7 outrage in London, and the 'progressives' fell all over themselves to demand that Muslims should not be targeted, without specifying who - apart from young male Muslims - would be inclined to blow themselves up in the expectation of a concupiscent hereafter. The dependably contemptible BBC quickly aired a programme in which Muslims were the victims of a militant white, Christian group - Crusaders no less.

'Islam is a religion of peace' bleated one of the pretty-boy Muslims in the programme. No it's not: it is a militant religion whose basic texts are pretty damned unequivocal about what the true believer must do to the unbeliever. You will not find in the whole of the New Testament any support for the appalling acts blessed by the churches that claim to be Christian; the same absolutely cannot be said for the Qur'an.

I am not arguing that the Lawrence inquiry was any more than one symptom of the strong predisposition among 'progressives' towards pre-emptive appeasement. They have always been characterised as much by moral cowardice as intellectual dishonesty. What I do suggest is that Macpherson and, now, Saville, are responsible for putting a pompous legal veneer on that lack of moral courage and intellectual honesty. 

We require our police and armed forces to stand between us and those unconstrained by any concept of civilised behaviour, whether that lack of constraint comes from their debased social circumstances or from political indoctrination. In the performance of their duty the police and armed forces are regularly exposed to provocations far beyond even the second-hand experience of those who shelter behind them, and will from time to time, inevitably, commit acts that cannot be condoned and must be punished - as individual acts.

What the likes of Macpherson and Saville do by spreading the blame across the institutions involved is to chip away at the link between the public and those who defend the frontiers of civilisation. As we have all observed over the last decade, the police now have an 'us and them' attitude in which 'them' is everybody who is not a member of the police force. Much of that is down to Macpeherson, who pointedly failed to examine the reasons for the high incidence of black (mainly on black) crime, or the long-term complicity of the judiciary in police abuses.

By ignoring the overall political, judicial and social context in which the Bloody Sunday killings took place, Saville may have done the same for the army. One of the shooters on 30 January 1972 was later awarded a Victoria Cross for selfless heroism in battle. That was what they were selected and trained to do - engage the enemy, break his will and impose your own.

That some of the Paras decided to thin the crowd cover, knowing that armed IRA scum like Martin McGuiness were lurking behind it, was more understandable than the Saville report is prepared to admit; just as it applies an Olympian detachment to the subsequent judicial white-wash by Lord Chief Justice Widgery. It was the confirmation that there was no hope of justice under British rule, more than the killings, which tipped many Catholics over the line between passively enabling and actively participating in terrorism.

So, basically, I would like to ram a rolled-up copy of their reports up the arses of these be-wigged hypocrites; actually, maybe not - given their institutional proclivities, it might give them more pleasure than it would me.

US protectionism compounded the Gulf disaster

Rather too many Brits buy into the idea that the USA is a bastion of free market capitalism. In fact the US economy is burdened with a host of special interests regulations, many of them remarkably harmful. Among the latter is the 1920 Jones Act, which requires vessels operating in American waters to be built, owned, and manned by Americans. In conjunction with swinish behaviour by the deeply corrupt (if that is not a redundancy) maritime labour unions, the Jones Act destroyed the once vigorous American merchant marine.

An article by Deroy Murdock in National Review argues that the Jones Act has contributed significantly to the damage done by the oil gusher in the Mexican Gulf:
On April 20, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killed eleven oil-rig workers, and began gushing perhaps 60,000 barrels of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico daily. Three days later, the Dutch offered to sail to the rescue on ships bedecked with oil-skimming booms. They also had a plan for erecting protective sand barricades.

“The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’” Dutch consul general Geert Visser told the
Houston Chronicle’s Loren Steffy. “What’s wrong with accepting outside help?” Visser wondered. “If there’s a country that’s experienced with building dikes and managing water, it’s the Netherlands.”

Had those Dutch ships departed nearly two months ago, who knows how much oil they already would have absorbed and how many pelicans now would soar rather than soak in soapy water while wildlife experts clean their wings.

After initially refusing to name them, the State Department on May 5 declared that Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.N. had also offered skimmer boats and other assets and experts to prevent the oil from destroying dolphins, crabs, oysters, and this disaster’s other defenseless victims.

Alas, they were turned away.

“While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet,” read a State Department statement, “the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future.”
Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin translated this into plain English: “The current message to foreign governments is: Thanks but no thanks, we’ve got it covered.”

Had Obama instead waived the Jones Act via executive order - as did Pres. George W. Bush three days after Hurricane Katrina - that S.O.S. would have summoned a global armada of mercy. Who knows how many fishing, shrimping, and seafood-processing jobs this would have saved? Instead, thousands of Gulf Coast workers will endure a long march from dormant docks to bustling unemployment lines.

The new Great Game(s)

Excellent article in the UK Defence Forum on the geopolitics of the current chaos in Kyrgyzstan. Won't attempt to summarize, as it deserves reading in full.

I am particularly struck by the significance of Uzbekistan, much the most powerful of the ex-Soviet Stans, which is not going to sit idly by while fellow Uzbeks are driven out of Kyrgyzstan. It's a can of exceptionally vigorous worms.

This is, of course, the heart of the territory where the 'Great Game' was played out between the British and the Russian Empires in Queen Victoria's reign.

I give a talk on 'The New Great Game', but my focus has been on the ethnic cauldron of the Caucasus. Seems I'll have to crack the books and get deep into Kipling territory.

17 June 2010

Officious busybody of the - er - week

Following from an article in the New York Times:
“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults - teachers and counselors - we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”
Who gives a shit what you say, you presumptuous cow? Is there no aspect of human nature that these 'progressives' do not feel empowered to meddle with?

Hat-tip to Kinsla

NICE for paedophiles

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the unaccountable quango that rations health care and decides who should live or die in the National Health Service, is to grossly exceed its sordid brief by writing to every primary school, telling it to start sex education when pupils are five.

The letter will tell teachers that children should not be taught to say no to sex – but should learn about the value of ‘mutually rewarding sexual relationships’.

It's a perverts' charter.

Doom, and not from global warming

Remember the sun? You know, that big old heat source in the sky whose periodic bursts of activity pale into insignificance next to greedy capitalism's evil rape of Gaia? Well, it seems our little star may be going to send us a shit-storm in the near future (2013-14).

The Telegraph reports (with video) a warning from NASA that Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation burst of magnetic energy from solar flares. It seems the sun's magnetic energy cycle peaks every 22 years, while solar flares hit a maximum level every 11 years. 

Umm - how did it go in 1991-2, I wonder? I also wonder how the AGW scammers are going to spin this one. Probably: Aaargh! Never happened before! It's Mother Nature's way of punishing us for screwing with her!

P.S. Cambridge Professor of German Nicholas Boyle has just published the completely unrelated 2014 - How to survive the next world crisis. It seems there has been a cataclysmic 'Great Event' in the second decade of every century for the last 500 years. Boyle confidently predicts that another such will take place in 2014, which will determine whether the 21st century is full of violence and poverty or will be peaceful and prosperous.

Continuum, his publishers, must be breaking out the champagne over NASA's prediction.

P.P.S. Someone just caught a piranha in a lake in Kent, possibly recently released from the state sector. We're doomed, I tell you, doomed.

The restructure of financial authority

I recall feeling that Gordon Brown's 'freeing' of the Bank of England was a good thing. Not by a long way for the first time, and certainly not the last, I had failed to read the details and so failed to perceive the amount of political control over fiscal policy retained by the government. Alastair Heath at City A.M. is likewise after the event:
Mervyn King has officially emerged as the credit crunch’s great – and perhaps only – winner, even though his policy of keeping interest rates excessively low was the single most important domestic driver of the bubble (something which for some reason, unlike in the US, nobody wants to talk about in this country). Of course, the real culprit was Gordon Brown and Ed Balls, who forced King to follow a narrow and deeply destructive mandate, focusing exclusively on targeting the consumer price index and largely ignoring asset prices, the soaring money supply and the rest.
So here's the new structure, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. Let's see how it works in practice; once bitten, I am disinclined to believe that politicians are serious about relinquishing their right to manipulate the one factor that most impinges on their re-electability.

Debt and deficit

Just a reminder of what a lying piece of shit Brown was to have promised to 'halve the debt' during the 2010-15 parliament. This is the projection by the Office of Budget Responsibility, having factored in the 'savage' cuts that Brown said he would not make in state borrowing:

Death of voluntarism = death of society

The following from James Bartholomew's blog, named for his excellent book The Welfare State We're In:
A society in which people lose the volition and motivation to spontaneously assist and help each other is doomed, even if its economic productivity still suffices to maintain and even expand its flawed structures. Social behaviour evolves from generation to generation in slow, civilisational learning processes. This evolvement might not be able to keep up with the pace of decay. The decisive bottleneck is not in the financing, it is in the human soul.
Robert Nef in The Welfare State Destroys Welfare and the State, published in 2006 by the Liberales Institut in Zurich.

Déjà vu all over again

Despite my deep respect for his insight about the Western Way of War, I have not often agreed with Victor Davis Hanson's subsequent political writings. His posting in National Review about The One's foreign policy is spot-on, though: it's a reprise of Jimmy Carter's toothy appeasement, and is already having the same effect.
Suddenly, democratic allies such as Colombia, Israel, and India cannot count on our support in their rivalries with aggressive neighbors, while overt enemies such as Iran, Hamas, and North Korea wonder whether a brief window has opened for aggrandizement without repercussions. 
 Hanson concludes:
A cash-flush China wonders why it should finance record U.S. borrowing for entitlements it cannot afford for its own people. We seem to gratuitously offend our oldest and best ally, the British, in novel ways each week. The European Union is in a meltdown, and many of its key members suspect that America no longer sees itself as a leader of shared Western interests. Or that if it does, it is now too broke to do much anyway.

In all these crises, trashing George W. Bush, reaching out to enemies and taking friends for granted is not proving to be a coherent foreign policy. Instead, it is a prescription for a disaster not seen since 1979, when another messianic American president thought he could charm the world by making our enemies like us.

And we all know how that ended.
Do we really? I don't think so. Americans generally have the historical perspective of mayflies, the Brits seem anxious to copy that, as they do everything else that is manifestly flawed about US society (but not what works well), and the only people with seriously long memories are the enemies that hate us for what our great-grandfathers allegedly did to theirs. More likely their great-grandmothers, but still . . .

Thatcher and the global warming scam

A posting on Watts Up With That by Lord Monckton, Margaret Thatcher's scientific adviser, corrects my earlier post about her rolling the first pebble of what has become the global warming landslide. First, however, an passage that brilliantly reminds us how times have changed:
On my first day in the job, I tottered into Downing Street dragging with me one of the world’s first portable computers, the 18-lb Osborne 1, with a 5" screen, floppy disks that were still truly floppy, and a Z80 8-bit chip which I had learned to program in machine language as well as BASIC. This was the first computer they had ever seen in Downing Street. The head of security, a bluff military veteran, was deeply suspicious. 'What do you want a computer for?' he asked. 'Computing', I replied.
Monckton states that although Thatcher did launch the Met's Hadley Centre for the study of climate change, she was unimpressed by the data it produced:
In due course, the scientific results began to arrive. It became as clear to Margaret Thatcher as it has to me that our original concern was no longer necessary. The warming effect of CO2 is simply too small to make much difference and, in any event, it is orders of magnitude cheaper and more cost-effective to adapt to any consequences of “global warming” than to wreck the economies of the West by trying to demonize CO2 and cut our emissions.

Margaret Thatcher was very conscious that the Left tries to taint every aspect of life by attempting to politicize it.

In her thinking, therefore, there is genuine outrage that the coalescence of financial and political vested-interest factions in the scientific and academic community that are driving the climate scare should be striving to bring the age of enlightenment and reason to an end by treating scientific debate as though every question were a political football to be kicked Leftward.

16 June 2010

Well, well, well

Having been publicly disowned by the bosses of the other oil majors at a Congressional hearing, BP seems to have done a deal with the Obama administration and will cough up $20 billion over a period of years into a trust fund, to be disbursed by the attorney who previously administered the 9/11 victims compensation fund.

In return it seems likely that the US government will agree to limit the company's liability - presumably at $20 billion. Since BP's suspended dividend pay-out was going to be $2.5 billion, between insurance and co-payments by the other companies involved the sum would seem to be entirely manageable. Expect BP stock to rebound.

Is it possible that the whole thing was a carefully orchestrated psychodrama? If so, hats off to Obama's much-maligned staff and to the even more execrated BP management.

Whales can save us from catastrophic global warming

A round of applause for a brilliant funding coup by researchers at Flinders University in South Australia. In an irresistible twofer combining 'save the whales' with AGW, as reported in the Mail, they have found that sperm whales more than offset their 'carbon emissions', or breathing as it's more commonly known.
'They eat their diet, mainly squid, in the deep ocean, and defecate in the upper waters where phytoplankton can grow, having access to sunlight,' marine biologist Trish Lavery said. 'Sperm whale poo is rich in iron, which stimulates phytoplankton to grow and trap carbon. When the phytoplankton die, the trapped carbon sinks to the deep ocean.'
Lavery added that without whaling there may have been 120,000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean and around two million tonnes of carbon would have been removed from the atmosphere each year through this process.

So now you know - eat calamari, crap in the ocean and you'll be doing your bit to atone for breathing.

Is the UK a battered wife?

Rather a sad post on ConservativeHome by Dominic Raab, an ex British diplomat and now a Tory MP.
Getting things done will increasingly demand coalitions of the willing, where there is no international consensus. And first on any US list of potential partners will be Britain. America will continue to rely not just on Britain’s shared outlook, but also its deft diplomatic corps [!], an ability to project military force [!!] and a rare ‘can do’ attitude [!!!]. As Condeleezza Rice once said, there is no country America would rather be ‘down a foxhole with’ than Britain. But President Obama’s recent actions and tone prick a British sense that they are taken for granted.
No - Obama and Hillary Clinton's recent actions and tone are telling Britain to piss off, that the USA is sick of being associated with it, and that it is of no importance. That has long been the POV of the State Department, and one should not forget how Hillary's husband, perhaps smarting from being known as 'Billy the Snerge' when he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, mocked the 'special relationship' when he was in the White House.

Not so enigmatic Russia

One of Winston Churchill's much quoted aphorisms is: 'I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.' But then he went on to add: 'but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interests.' 

Indeed it is. The UK Defence Forum has posted (pdf here) an admirably succinct analysis of how Russia perceives its national interest. It underlines that Western triumphalism after the collapse of the Soviet Union was a truly horrendous geostrategic error.  

Or was it? I can foresee a not-too-distant time when historians will judge that the Russian perception of US diplomacy after 1992 is correct: it is perfectly legitimate to perceive it as a global drive to extend the boundaries of the US informal empire, the 'New World Order' prematurely announced by President George Bush Sr.

The question for us is whether the European remoras should remain attached to the US shark. Maybe not.

The One asserts his claim to divinity

In a nationally televised address yesterday, Obama said he would meet BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg today and 'I will inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.'

In other words, it is his intention to force BP into bankruptcy and to seize control of the liquidation of its assets. No possibility of politically-driven corruption there, of course.

Now, unlike Obama, I did not go to Harvard Law School; but it appears to me that he has so thoroughly prejudiced the case against BP that there is no longer any possibility of a fair trial. How can he assert that the accident was a product of 'recklessness' unless, being God's annointed, he can dismiss the possibility that it was an act of God? His divinely granted wisdom also permitting him to establish, in advance, the amount of the company's liability.

My understanding is that he has no legal power to do any of this - although his supporters in Congress will presumably have to grant it to him retrospectively or else destroy his authority. Even then, I cannot see how they can redeem his having made himself so publicly and irrevocably parti pris to the matter. Offhand, assuming the courts act in accordance with the law, I suspect that all he has done is create the greatest ever bonanza for the US trial lawyers, who just happen to be the largest contributors to his party's electoral coffers after the (mainly) state employee unions.

It will be intriguing to see if the idea of the divine right of kings is to be revived by the 'progressives' in a country that was formed in rebellion against monarchy; and if the separation of powers will survive this astonishing attempt by the executive, presumably soon to be backed by a partisan majority of the legislature, to preempt the judiciary.

Cool fitba diagram







Just came across this excellent graphic summary of the Brazil-North Korea game, in the Wall Street Journal, of all places.

The concept appears to be modified from a presentational tool used to summarize American football games, in which time of possession is crucial - but looking at this, I think it is quite as useful when applied to real football. 

For example: it is staggering that a greater than two thirds possession of the ball by one of the world's top-ranked teams playing against one of the lowest ranked resulted in only a 2-1 win.

15 June 2010

Saville: the Guardian reverts to type

"It was a previous Tory prime minister, Ted Heath, whose troops carried out the [Bloody Sunday] massacre in the bloodiest year of the Troubles."

Funny, I thought they were British troops. See full article here.

Odd that it took Saville exactly the length of the Labour administration to bring the biggest shysters' ramp of all time to a close.

Liability for THAT oil spill

Excellent, balanced article in Reason on the degree of background government failure (additional to Obama's foreground demagoguery) involved in the Mexican Gulf oil spill.

The cost of one man's ambition



So - net cost of Blair's failed attempt to grease the wheels to become the EU president under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty - £6-7 billion. Oh, and also the little matter of reneging on the promise of a referendum, which he left to his partner in crime Gordon Brown. Makes you proud to be British, don't it?

14 June 2010

Instrumentality

Christopher Booker's piece about Margaret Thatcher in the Telegraph concentrates on the fact that in her memoirs she repented of her pioneering emphasis on man-made global warming (AGW). Booker's aim is to strip away Cameron's attempt to wrap his (and his coalition partner's) adamantly warmist policies in the Thatcher's political mantle.

Booker fails for the simple reason that the truth or otherwise of global warming was not Thatcher's - and is not Cameron's - principal reason for espousing AGW. Thatcher pushed for the formation of the UN's IPCC and funded the Met Office's Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) because she needed to offset the political fall-out from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster if she was to begin the construction of a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain.  

When asked how the 'Climategate' revelations about malfeasance at CRU had affected his view on global warming before the election, Cameron's office replied that it 'was an established basis for public policy', hence not subject to modification. That was an entirely Thatcherite reply: his hopes for pursuing an independent and secure energy policy are invested in AGW, therefore he will continue to profess belief in it, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

That's the problem with what I call political instrumentality, which is proclaiming one objective with the secret aim of achieving another. Unlike billiards or snooker, a cannon in politics does not follow the laws of physics, and the third ball can and usually does take off along an unpredictable line.

Politicians simply are not skilled enough, nor are human reactions remotely logical enough, to attempt it: but they keep on doing it, because they think that having conned their way into power on the two-dimensional electoral chess-board, they are clever enough to do the same in the three-dimensional world.

P.S. Another example of instrumentality was the decision by the World War II government in the USA to permit companies to pay for health insurance for their employees in lieu of frozen wages. The untaxed extra came to distort the free movement of labour as well as constituting a punitive tax on the self-employed. The employees of US companies are only now waking up to the fact that Obama's health care bill has made their medical benefits taxable for the first time in 70 years. As a self-employed person who was mugged by the monstrous US health insurance companies when I lived there, I cannot help but smile. Welcome to the real world, guys.